When it comes to football, I think about a certain commercial from a few years back.
I’m just going to be honest: I loathe football, but my lord, do I love the Superbowl. I’m all DGAF about the game itself, but even I can celebrate THE END. If they made Superbowl pasties I’d wave em about while offering my houseguests crackers and cheese.
My first live in relationship was with a man obsessed with football. He assured me was not, in fact, obsessed, but there it was, staring at us from the TV, taking up all the air and entertainment in our tiny apartment. It starts simply: Monday nights, Sunday afternoons… but soon it is ever present: Thursdays, Saturdays, and most annoyingly, replays of games decided long, long ago.
Never a sports fan, when I invite friends to celebrate the Superbowl, they raise eyebrows, staring as if I’ve suggested dissecting a cow as an afternoon activity, which is to say, puzzled. “Why not celebrate?” I smirk. I am celebrating because it is finally O-V-E-R.
This time of year, I’ve learned to surrender, and just suck it up that friends are lost to bars and big screens for weekend games. As the owner of a television, a rarity in Portland, I am occasionally called to host such viewings.
Not that I encourage the appearance of food in any instance where it might later be used as a projectile weapon aimed in the general direction of the aforementioned television, but I mean, it's only polite.
Here are my rules for Superbowl entertaining.
1. NO THEMED FOOD.
Because: fuck that. No red and blue beer or food shaped like footballs. Just make good food people want to eat and ask them to kindly keep their bodypaint off your couch.
2. Nothing small and heavy that can be used as a projectile.
Popcorn= ok. Candied apples= not ok.
3. Nothing that requires you pay attention to your food.
Because it will end up on your floor. It should not require forks or knives or being constructed. It should be able to be picked up and eaten easily. People keep recommending dips, and I just see myself, all Cinderella like, scrubbing spinach and artichoke dip out of my rug tomorrow on my hands and knees.
For the Lazy Rulebreaker-Tomato and Cheese Dip
32 oz salsa
4 cups of shredded cheese (I like the Mexican bagged mixes you can get at TJs and grocers, also, velveeta is not uncalled for)
There has never been an easier dish to make, or a more popular dish at a party. I have been making this recipe for 20 years, my mother made it before me, and every time I make it, everyone begs for the recipe. Which, of course, as below, is overly simple.
In an oven safe dish with a cover, add a thin layer of GOOD salsa (I find the salsa really makes this work, so buy the good stuff in the refridgerator section of the market, not the bottled stuff). Add a layer of cheese, sprinkled on. Add a layer of salsa. Add a layer of cheese. And so on, until you're out. Finish with a layer of salsa, and then just a light sprinkling of the cheese. Cover and place in 375 oven for an hour. Remove cover and allow top to bubble- will take about 15 minutes. Stir with a spoon and serve on a trivet with chips. Personally, potato chips go better than tortilla, if you're going tortilla, go blue. Yes, its going to end up on your rug, but no one will care because they'll be too busy stuffing their faces. You can halve this recipe, easily, for 2-4 people. The above will serve 6-8.
Because you can just ORDER wings - Potstickers for All
1 package of potsticker skins (they're hidden in the veggie section of the store, by the ginger and herbs)
.75 lbs of ground pork
.75 lbs of cooked shrimp (salad shrimp are fine)
8 oz of bamboo shoots
8 oz of water chesnuts
1 small knob of ginger
4 garlic cloves
3 tbsp oyster sauce
1 cup sesame oil
1/4 cup chili oil
1 cup low sodium soy sauce
2 bunches of scallions
Stop being intimidated right now, these are really easy. Chop, cook, seal. Peel ginger and chop, chop garlic and push aside. Rinse off bamboo shoots and chesnuts and shrimp and chop all. Add a few tablespoons of sesame oil to a large saute pan on medium high. Once it's sizzling, add the garlic and ginger, and then the pork and stir until browned. Then add the shrimp, bamboo shoots and chesnuts and continue to stir. Add the 3 tbsp of oyster sauce, 1 tbsp of chili oil and 1 of soy sauce and stir constantly until there is no more liquid in the pan. Now throw it all into a big bowl, mix with chopped scallions and refrigerate it for a few hours.
Take out the potsticker skins and then place them on a plate under a damp towel. They dry out quickly, so leave the towel on them. Take three or four out, put a teaspoon of filling in each, then draw a circle of water on the outside edge of each wrapper, fold in half and press. Hard. Place on cookie sheet lined with foil or parchment. You can freeze them this way ( and should, don't just toss them into a bag, you'll never get them apart. Freeze them on sheet THEN place in bag).
To cook, add a half inch of boiling water or stock to the cookie sheet, then cover tightly w tin foil and place into a 400 degree oven. Wait 20 min, uncover (they'll be steamed now, so be careful taking the foil off) and leave in oven to brown a bit. After 20 minutes, take out and serve with dipping sauces (like 1/4 cup soy sauce, 1 teaspoon white sugar, and 1/2 tsp some sesame seeds) or some sriracha. I like to stick a toothpick in each. Rule of potstickers: no matter how many you make, THEY WILL ALL BE GONE.
Don't be intimidated, this is not as complicated as you think.
BECAUSE YOU ARE FANCY PEOPLES -- Sake Shrimp and Wasabi Mayo on Cucumber Rounds, and Seared Beef on Pumpernickel w Gorgonzola Cream Sauce and Pickled Onions
These just look fancy. They're ridiculously simple.
16 medium shrimp, raw and deveined
3 tbsp mayo
3 tbsp sour cream
1 tbsp dry wasabi
1 cup sake
Skewer each shrimp on a wood skewer. This is to prevent them from mishaping while cooking (you know how they curl up? This stops that). Boil the sake in 1 cup of water and then place shrimp in and cook for 1 minute. That's all you need. Remove shrimp, and allow to cool. Then deskewer. Mix mayo, sour cream and wasabi. Slice cucumber on a severe diagonal so you have rounds. Spoon 1/2 tsp of the wasabi mayo onto each round and top with one shrimp.
1 lb tenderloin or top round beef
1 red onion
1 loaf pumpernickel (sandwich bread tends to be REALLY thick, so I go with a regular loaf and ask for it to be sliced thin or do it myself)
4 oz of gorgonzola (or bleu cheese if you can't find any)
4 tbsp sour cream
1/2 cup white wine vinegar (or any flavored vinegar you have around)
Salt and pepper the beef, then then sear on a medium high heat in a saute pan, with 1 tsp of butter. Sear on each side,until each side is browned, then place in a 375 degree oven for 10 minutes. You are going for rare meat.
Meanwhile, thinly slice the onion and place in a saucepan with 1/2 cup of vinegar on medium heat. Allow to come to a boil and let simmer for 10 minutes, then remove from heat and drain. Take out, place on cutting board and let it sit for 15 minutes. Cut crust off pumpernickel so you end up with 16 squares, spray with pam or olive oil and place on cookie sheet in oven (stll at 375) for 7 minutes on each side. lightly toasted is the goal. Slice beef thinly. Remove, then spread each with gorgonzola cream, a tsp of onions, and then place 2 slices of beef crosswise on top.
Tell me, xoJaneys.... what are you planning on making? What are your rules for game food? And most importantly, which team are you on? (If you're like me, its team puppy)